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Diploma in Public Services Level 1* at Dearne Valley College (DVC)

Course description

It’s not just about the Uniformed Services...

The Public Services courses are a great opportunity for those who aspire for a career in the uniformed services. However, these programmes are also a fantastic route into many other careers.

By studying towards a qualification in Public Services, you’ll gain skills that are relevant and sought after by employers in a vast array of industries.

You will develop your abilities to work within a functional team and boost your confidence levels whilst improving your physical and fitness attributes, gaining skills to boost your ability to plan ahead and solve problems, and building upon effective leadership abilities.

These skills are fundamental for job roles in the wider public services sector, or for private sector roles such as frontline customer services, security, and project management.

Learning Environment

We aim to ensure that you are out of the classroom as much as possible! Your course will be filled with an action-packed programme of activities and pursuits.

You’ll be spending time at the Manvers Boathouse, making the most of the Manvers Lake, its surrounding landscape and its fantastic resources.

Plus, the College’s Manvers Campus boasts some excellent on-site sports facilities too.

Great for both team building and confidence building, you will experience the thrill of abseiling, mountain biking, raft building, canoeing, archery and many more during your time at the College.

You will learn a broad range of transferable skills, such as teamwork, communication, working under your own initiative and leadership. These skills will be important assets on your CV and are sought after by a broad range of employers.

Work Experience

Gaining experience in the workplace and out in the community is essential for anyone looking to pursue a career in the Public Services.

We will encourage you to find both work experience and volunteering opportunities to boost your CV and increase your employability.

Through the College’s excellent links with local services, including the Police, Fire Service, RAF, Royal Navy and Prison Service, you will benefit from regular talks and presentations from personnel working for the regions frontline services.

Events and Trips

From one-day visits, to overnight camping expeditions, you will experience a wide range of excursions to help you develop your knowledge of the Public Services sector and identify possible routes into employment. Activity days have included climbing, mountain biking, archery and look @ life with the Military and Marines.

Previous students have visited a number of exciting places both within the UK and abroad which have included the Peak District, Alton Towers, WW1 Battlefield tours in Belgium and prison camps in Colditz and Auschwitz.  You will also have the opportunity to gain an insight into the police force by attending sessions on dog, horse and riot training as well as CBRN (chemical, biological, radiation and nuclear) training.


English and Maths

Alongside your main programme, you will attend classes to develop your skills and confidence in English and Maths. These skills are extremely important for any future job role that you may have.

Functional skills are essential for tasks such as planning and calculating, estimating and communicating.


You will be required to wear a Public Services uniform, which will vary depending on the task you are completing. These are available to purchase from Dearne Valley College.

Assessment Methods

• Assignments: You will be given specific assignments or projects to complete. These will be in a variety of formats, such as presentations, posters, group work, reports and other activities

• Portfolio: You will create a portfolio or workbook of evidence such as practical work, presentations and case studies

• Practical/Group Work: Your tutor will assess you completing practical work in the workshop or workplace

Course content

This course covers:

• Leadership and Teamwork

• Government Policies and the Public Services

• Citizenship and the Public Services

• Fitness and Adventure Training

• Land Navigation

• Understanding Discipline

Entry requirements

Entry Requirements:

• Successful curriculum interview and assessment

• Completion of a GCSE programme or equivalent is expected

• You will attend a college-based assessment for English and Maths, where we will be looking for an Entry Two or Entry Three Level


Assessment Methods

Assignments: You will be given specific assignments or projects to complete. These will be in a variety of formats, such as presentations, posters, group work, reports and other activities.

Portfolio: You will create a portfolio or workbook of evidence such as practical work, presentations and case studies

Practical/Group Work: Your tutor will assess you completing practical work in the workshop or workplace

Financial information

Money Matters

The College has a number of funds which are there to help support you if you find yourself in financial difficulties that are affecting your attendance at college or your studies.

16–19 Bursary

If you’re aged between 16 and 19 years and in full-time education or training, you may be eligible for a mandatory or discretionary bursary. Young people in the following groups are eligible to receive a mandatory bursary of up to £1,200 a year.

  • Young people in care
  • Care leavers
  • Young people claiming income support/Universal Credit in their own name
  • Disabled young people who receive both Employment Support Allowance/Universal Credit and Disability Living Allowance/Personal Independence Payment (PIP) in their own name

However, other students facing genuine financial difficulties may be awarded a smaller, discretionary bursary which is means-tested and allocated based on specific priorities and eligibility criteria.

College eligibility criteria are currently based on a maximum household income of £25,000, good standards of behaviour, and over 90% attendance.

The bursary can help with costs such as food, transport, books and other course-related equipment and/or essentials.

Learner Support and Welfare Fund

The Discretionary Learner Support Funds can be used to buy equipment, help with travel expenses, childcare, and other costs related to attending college to study. These means-tested funds are limited, and allocated based on specific priorities and criteria.

If you are 19 years old or more, have a good attendance and your gross household income does not exceed £25,000, you could be eligible for these funds. The College also operates a small discretionary Emergency Welfare Fund to help students in crisis situations. Funds are limited and are intended to help in the short term.

Support with Childcare Costs

The College may be able to provide support for your childcare costs if you are a full-time student, either for part of, or for the full year.

If you are 20 years old or more, the College receives funding which may contribute towards the childcare you require.

In addition, young people under the age of 20 with childcare needs may be eligible for childcare and travel costs through the national ‘Care to Learn’ scheme. Find out if you’re eligible by visiting:

16-18 Student Concessionary Bus Pass

If you are attending college on a full-time basis and you meet the qualifying criteria, you may be eligible for a concessionary bus pass for bus and tram travel, and halved fares on local Northern Rail services in South Yorkshire.

For more information and to apply online, please visit:

Free school Meals

If you are aged 16 to 18 on 31st August 2014, you may be eligible for free school meals if you or your parents are in receipt of certain benefits. Please visit the Student Services Centre for more information.

NUS Extra Card

NUS extra is the ultimate, must-have student card! It gives you access to hundreds of discounts exclusively for students – including ASOS, Amazon, Topshop, House of Fraser, National Express, New Look, JJB Sports, Pizza Hut, Superdrug and many, many more.

The card costs just £12 and can be purchased directly from the NUS website:

Future opportunities

Opportunities after the course:

• You may be able to continue your studies at a higher level

• This is an ideal course for those who are interested in an entry level career in any uniformed service, e.g. British Army, Border Agency, Royal Navy, RAF, Prison Service, Fire & Rescue Service, Police or Coastguard

How to apply

You can apply for this course through UCAS Progress. Add this course to your favourites so you can start making an application.

Last updated date: 19 July 2018
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  • More information
    • A 2014 Ofsted report officially commended Dearne Valley College as an overall ‘GOOD’ college, in fact all areas of the college that were inspected were commended as ‘GOOD’ too.  

      A full copy of the report is available at, however here are just some of the reports highlights.

      Why we are good:

      “Success rates for 16- to 18-year-old students are high”

      “Practical, vocational and employability skills are developed effectively”

      “Support for students is highly effective”

      “Much teaching is good”

      “The culture and ethos of the college promote mutual respect and positive attitudes to learning”

      “Leadership and management have effectively brought about significant improvement since the previous inspection”

      Outcomes for learners

      “Overall success rates have shown steady improvement over three years and are now well above the national average”
      Our success rate for 2012/13 was 90%, which is 6% above national average.

      “Achievement rates have also improved well and were significantly above the national average in 2013”
      Our achievement/pass rate for 2012/13 was 97%, which is 3% above the national average.

      “Students develop good practical and vocational skills” 

      “The culture and ethos in the college encourage students to recognise the importance of mathematics and English”
      All our 16 to 18 year olds learners work towards improving their study mathematics and English attainment.

      “Students enjoy coming to college and this is reflected in their high attendance rates”

      The quality of teaching, learning and assessment

      “Teaching, learning and assessment are good which is reflected in the high success rates for students”

      “Good support arrangements help those students with barriers to learning to achieve and make sustained progress”

      “Teachers use their industrial experience well to develop students’ vocational skills”
      Our staff refresh their industry skills via our thorough staff development programme.

      “Students with additional learning needs are carefully identified at an early stage and offered flexible bespoke assistance”
      The College proudly holds the Matrix Quality Standard for Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance.

      “The college pays close attention to equality and diversity”
      The College is proud to have gained Investors in Diversity Status.

      “Students respect each other and their views are valued and taken seriously”

      “Students enjoy working in safe environments and understand the importance of safe working practice”

      What our students say:

      “I feel safe at College” – 98% of students asked agree

      “I know the kind of support I can get from College” – 97% of students asked agree

      “I am aware that English, Maths and IT forms part of my course” – 97% of those asked agree

      “I understand the rights of others to be treated with respect” – 99% of those asked agree

      “The College will not permit bullying in any form” – 99% of those asked agree

      “I feel I am on the right course” – 98% of those asked agree

      Source: 2013 Induction Survey


      Ofsted is the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills. They report directly to Parliament and are independent and impartial. They inspect and regulate services which care for children and young people, and those providing education and skills for learners of all ages.